UNITED NATIONS - Germany is pushing European demands for UN Security Council support for a new Arab League plan to resolve the crisis in Syria that sees President Bashar al-Assad transferring power to his deputy and a government of national unity within two months.

Germany's UN ambassador Peter Wittig said the plan agreed at the weekend could be a ``game changer'' for the Security Council which has been deadlocked with Russia and China vetoing one resolution condemning the Syrian government's deadly crackdown.

Wittig said Germany would be following up a formal letter demanding that Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi brief the 15-member Security Council ``as soon as possible''.

The council has been blocked for months over Syria, where the UN says at least 5,400 people have died since protests against Assad erupted last March. Russia and China said a proposed European resolution in October was the first steps toward enforced regime change.

Arab League foreign ministers at the weekend sought Security Council endorsement for their latest plan which calls for Assad to hand over powers to a deputy while elections and a new constitution are organized.

``The decisions taken in Cairo are maybe a game changer, also for the Security Council,'' Wittig told reporters.

He said a briefing by the Arab League would be only a first step.

"We believe now more than ever that we need strong Council action, a clear message to both the Syrian regime and the Syrian people," Wittig said. "Only real support and endorsement of the Arab League's decisions will do, everything else will be perceived as much too weak."

Wittig added that he had sent a letter to the president of the Security Council, South African Ambassador Baso Sangqu, to invite Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to brief the council on the situation in Syria later this week.